Your new movie Lonely Hearts
- in a few words, what is it about?
is a dark satire about how far people will go for reality
TV and how far the producers will exploit it.
thoughts on reality TV, and to what extent are they reflected in Lonely
Personally I can't stand reality TV, it had good intentions when it started
trying to base itself in psychology like the first season of Big Brother,
but instead it left us with the vacuous whole that is the modern world.
Other sources of inspiration when
writing Lonely Hearts?
When me and
Jessica Hunt wrote Lonely Hearts
we looked at Hostel, Love
Island, Wicker Man
and Unreal. For me in particular the TV show Unreal was a big influence as
we wanted to see the manipulation used in reality TV.
can you tell us about your co-writer and co-director Jessica Hunt, and
what was your collaboration like?
Jess is a good friend who before
the pleasure of doing Conspiracy X with. We really wanted to do a
together and simply just sat down discussed through it, originally Jess
was to play Sophie's role of the host but due to scheduling conflicts she
ended up just directing. It was an easy enough experience, Jess took more
control with Kirsty, Freddy and Claire's characters whereas I took the lead
with Donny and Carol.
As a director, to what
extent could you actually identify with Lonely
Hearts' puppeteer Patricia - or any of the other characters for
Haha, that's a crazy question, to me this is a
fairly nihilistic film, I'd say you could empathise with Claire's character,
as she clearly doesn't know what shes walking into. But as far as
identifying with the puppeteer would mean we found joy in torturing the
Do talk about your movie's approach to
As this film is
a docu-horror we wanted it to satirize reality TV, we didn't want the film
to feel like a horror, not throwing some cheap deaths at the start, let
the characters build on you and manipulation to slowly seep through.
What can you tell us about your overall
directorial approach to your story at hand?
As we've done a good few found footage or docu-horror films like The
Drug Tours and Industrial
Animals, we wanted with this film to feel as if there was so many
more cameras at every point watching all there moments, hopefully creating
something that feels like they cannot escape.
about your cast, and why exactly these people?
We had a lot of choosing our cast, Chris
Mills we had worked with several times, a truly great friend and good
actor who really went all out for this one. Alice Mulholland had just
worked with me and Jess on a film from TrashArts Killers,
Martyna Madej so we knew she'd be comfortable with material. We needed
actors that not only knew how to play stereotypes of reality TV but also to
push themselves mentally and physically which they all did, especially
Martin W. Payne with his, erm, ending...
course also have to talk about your location, and what was it like filming
We had a lovely bit of land
all to ourselves... well sort of, we did have random people wandering
over beyond curious and on the wrong shooting days. Otherwise it was a
beautifully sunny few days out in the country, it felt real.
What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
With such a
risky nasty film, we wanted to make sure the cast and crew were as
comfortable as possible, offering a chill area with drinks and smokes, the
perfect esapism from the raw vulnerability needed to be shown in the film.
Lack of tension and uncomfortability just led to a friendlier environment.
The $64-question of course, where
can Lonely Hearts be seen?
is released across USA and Canada on Sept 17th via Darkside Releasing.
Hoping for a UK release next year.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Lonely
have recently screened Lonely Hearts
at a few festivals, and it certainly
leaves a sense of shock and numbs people, which is exactly what you want
from a film like this!
Any future projects you'd like to
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Next year we have the release of The Millennial Killer and
Will Out with Darkside. Millennial Killer is a slasher
- an estate
agent serial killer who likes to lure youths into thinking they're buying
their first home - and The Truth Will Out is a docu-horror #metoo revenge
witch flick. Both should be out in 2020.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Thanks for the interview!